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CLIMACTERIC (from the Gr., the rung or step of a or ladder), a critical period in human life; in a medical sense, the period known as the "change of life," marked in women by the menopause. Certain ages, especially those which are multiples of seven or nine, have been superstitiously regarded as particularly critical; thus the sixty-third and the eighty-first year of life have been called the "grand climacteric." The word is also used, generally, of any turning-point in the history of a nation, a career or the like.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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